sign language

16 Stories

He Couldn't Communicate With Flight Attendants. Enter 'Angel'

'Angel' teen Clara Daly helped blind, deaf man on Alaska Airlines

(Newser) - "We are all starving for good news and this was just what we needed." Those are the words of Alaska Airlines passenger Lynette Scribner on Facebook after she witnessed a touching interaction between a young teen and a blind and deaf man on a recent flight. All three... More »

Koko, the Gorilla Who Knew Sign Language, Dies at 46

She captivated the world with her ability to communicate

(Newser) - Koko, the beloved gorilla who captivated many with her ability to communicate through sign language, has died at age 46. The western lowland gorilla died in her sleep Tuesday morning, NPR reports. Born at the San Francisco Zoo on July 4 , 1971, Koko was chosen as an infant to work... More »

Interpreter Mostly Signed Nonsense During Irma Briefing

Instead of evacuation information, deaf Florida residents got 'pizza' and 'monsters'

(Newser) - As Hurricane Irma was advancing on Florida, this was the message deaf residents of Manatee County received regarding a mandatory evacuation: "Help you at that time to use bear big." Jason Hurdich, a Clemson University professor and expert in American Sign Language, tells the Bradenton Herald he couldn'... More »

These Gloves Turn Sign Language Into Speech

College students awarded $10K prize for invention

(Newser) - Some half a million people use American Sign Language to communicate. Now, communicating with others who don't know ASL could be as easy as donning a pair of gloves. Navid Azodi and Thomas Pryor, undergraduates at the University of Washington, were recently awarded a $10,000 Lemelson-MIT Student Prize... More »

Starbucks Worker Goes the Distance for Deaf Customer

Ibby Piracha says he was left feeling 'blessed'

(Newser) - Ibby Piracha visits the same Starbucks in Leesburg, Va., about three times a week. But one recent visit was a bit different than normal. When Piracha, who is deaf, went to give his order—usually communicated through text message—the Starbucks employee instead passed him a note. "I've... More »

To Reach Out to Deaf Boy, Whole Class Learns to Sign

In impoverished Bosnia, a community comes together for 6-year-old Zejd Coralic

(Newser) - When Mirzana Coralic asked the primary school in her Sarajevo neighborhood whether they would enroll her deaf son, teacher Sanela Ljumanovic volunteered. Then September came and 6-year-old Zejd was there, silently sitting on a bench, his eyes wide. No one at the school, not even Zejd, knew sign language. "... More »

Deaf Community Applauds Viral Starbucks Order

Rebecca King's video of sign language order goes viral

(Newser) - A Florida Starbucks has made it easy for deaf customers to order at the drive-thru—and video of one deaf woman's experience has been viewed more than 6.5 million times since she posted it on Facebook Tuesday. "Starbucks! This is what I'm talking about!" wrote... More »

Mandela Interpreter Admitted to Psych Ward

Wife: 'He might have had a breakdown'

(Newser) - The interpreter who did little more than flap his arms around during Nelson Mandela's memorial is now in the hospital after a psychiatric evaluation. Thamsanqa Jantjie, who acknowledged suffering from hallucinations and schizophrenia , went for a check-up at a hospital near Johannesburg on Tuesday and was admitted immediately, the... More »

Bogus Mandela Interpreter Helped Burn Two Men Alive

Thamsanga Jantijie describes incident as 'mob justice'

(Newser) - Thamsanqa Jantjie has done things a lot worse than making up sign language —including burning two men alive, one of his relatives and three of his friends tell the AP . We already knew that Jantjie had murder charges on his resume, but now we know the specifics: Apparently Jantjie... More »

Fake Interpreter Once Faced Murder Charges

South African report says he has lengthy arrest record

(Newser) - The news about that Nelson Mandela interpreter who wasn't actually interpreting anything just keeps getting worse. Not only has Thamsanqa Jantjie acknowledged suffering from hallucinations and schizophrenia, but a new report from South Africa's eNCA says Jantile—who was standing about a foot away from President Obama and... More »

What the Mandela Interpreter Really Said

It was just 'gibberish,' actual interpreter tells Jimmy Kimmel

(Newser) - By now, we all know the sign language interpreter at Nelson Mandela's memorial service wasn't actually interpreting anything . But what was Thamsanqa Jantjie actually signing? To answer that question, Jimmy Kimmel brought his own sign language interpreter onstage last night on Jimmy Kimmel Live, the LA Times reports.... More »

Mandela Sign Interpreter: I Was Hallucinating

He says he suffered schizophrenic episode onstage

(Newser) - The interpreter blasted for supposedly making up sign language during Nelson Mandela's memorial service says he wasn't faking it—he was hallucinating and hearing voices. Thamsanqa Jantjie says he suffers from schizophrenia and he had an episode during the service, possibly brought on by the magnitude of the... More »

Mandela Sign-Language Interpreter Made Stuff Up

Deaf community outraged

(Newser) - The sign-language interpreter at Nelson Mandela's memorial service yesterday wasn't actually signing what the speakers on stage were saying, according to many members of the deaf community. As the service was live-streamed, Wilma Newhoudt-Druchen (the first deaf woman elected to South Africa's Parliament) tweeted , "ANC linked... More »

Fish Use ... Sign Language?

At least two kinds gesture while hunting prey, study suggests

(Newser) - Fish might have more going on in their fishy brains than thought, a new study suggests. Researchers found that at least two types—groupers and coral trout—use what amounts to sign language to help their hunting partners, reports LiveScience . The finding plays off another unusual trait: Both fish are... More »

School Wants Deaf Boy, 3, to Change Name Sign...

Because it looks too much like a weapon

(Newser) - Hunter Spanjer is deaf, so the Nebraska 3-year-old says his name by signing with a hand gesture—a hand gesture that his school doesn't like. Grand Island Public Schools prohibits "any instrument … that looks like a weapon" from being on campus, and apparently the school thinks Hunter'... More »

Monkeys Create Own Language Sign

Mandrills invent way to sign 'do not disturb'

(Newser) - Monkeys at a British zoo have developed a way of saying "leave me alone" that doesn't involve biting or flinging poop. The mandrills cover their eyes—much like in the "see no evil" gesture—when they desire solitude, and their fellow monkeys respect the signal, the Telegraph... More »

16 Stories